World championships bronze medallist HS Prannoy progressed to the second round of the Kumamoto Masters Japan 2023 men’s singles badminton event on Wednesday.
Prannoy, seventh in the badminton rankings, defeated Hong Kong China’s world No. 18 Lee Cheuk Yiu 22-20,19-21, 21-17 in one hour and four minutes in the round of 32 match.
Playing for the first time since winning a historic bronze medal at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, the Indian badminton player got off to a good start and led Lee Cheuk Yiu 11-6 at the first break.
However, Lee Cheuk Yiu mounted a comeback to level the scores at 14-all and stretched the 31-year-old for the rest of the game. Nevertheless, the Indian shuttler took the opening game on his second game point.
In the second game, Prannoy built a six-point lead at 14-8 and seemed poised to seal the contest. Lee Cheuk Yiu once again clawed his back to level at 17-17 and took the match into the decider.
Unlike the first two games, HS Prannoy fell behind by three points early in the decider at 8-5 but turned the tables after the change of ends. Prannoy opened up a two-point lead at 13-11. Though Lee Cheuk Yiu equalised at 15-all, Prannoy won six of the last eight points to progress to the second round.
Prannoy, seeded seventh, will be up against world No. 12 Chou Tien Chen in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Lakshya Sen and Priyanshu Rajawat’s challenge ended in the first round. While world No. 17 Lakshya Sen lost to third-seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan 21-17, 21-10, world No. 30 Priyanshu Rajawat was ousted by world No. 21 Lin Chun-Yi of Chinese Taipei after losing 21-15, 21-12.
Lakshya Sen has failed to move past the first round in his last five tournaments.